EATING FOR BRITAIN: BUGS VS BLOGGER
I received a couple of e-mails after my last post, not complaining, as I suspected might happen, about the catching and killing of the rabbits but asking how else, other than rabbit pie, they could be prepared.
It’s a good question and one worth thinking about given that, even if you don’t want to go out hunting, you can buy a rabbit from any decent butcher for under £3 and make something delicious to feed two or three people. Not bad in these times when money is tight.
So, yesterday, after my workout, I spent the day preparing two very different dishes using the two rabbits Stuart of The Country Bumpkin had kindly given me to take away.
First up, a classic French take on Br’er Rabbit, a “Lapin Au Crème et Cidre” which involved jointing the animal, tossing in seasoned flour, browning in butter and then slow cooking along with carrots, onions, bacon lardons, fresh thyme and half a bottle of Normandy cider.
While that was left to cook gently in the oven for two hours, I turned my attention to the other rabbit and, using the pointers Stuart had given me, I stripped all the meat from the bones, tossed the chunks in corn flour, deep fried them and then served with a sweet & sour sauce made from quite a few ingredients including tomato puree, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice & zest and lots of ginger, chilli and garlic.
The deep fried rabbit was certainly a little tougher than you might expect if you made the dish with pork or chicken, but it was perfectly passable and worked really well with the tangy, hot, sweet sauce.
By now, the rabbit in the oven was ready, the meat falling off the bone. So, I removed the joints from the pot, keeping warm, and reduced the sauce a little further with some cream and whole grain mustard before finishing off with a shot of brandy and pouring back over the joints. The sweet and sour had been interesting, but this was the star, incredibly easy to make. The rabbit meat was tender and its flavour still held up in the sauce.
So, in response to the question “what can you do with a rabbit apart from making a pie?” the answer is “ a hell of a lot” I am a bit bunnied out right now, but I can definitely see myself picking up a rabbit or two in the near future even if, unlike Stuart, I can’t just pop down to the local field to find them.
Well worth a try.